The Null Device
Interesting Times: Boy bands vs. the Chinese Communist Party, or the handsome, well-groomed face of dissent in the 21st century. An interesting look at the state of affairs in China, and the interplay of the two cultures of centralist hegemony (nominally Communist, though dating back to Imperial times in spirit) and an increasingly out-of-control market-oriented media consumerism, and boy-band VCD piracy is the new samizdat. (via bOING bOING)
Angry Robot reviews the new Curve album, which is only available by mail-order from a UK niche retailer. Sounds promising, though I'm not sure if I'll buy it; I've already got 3 Curve albums I don't listen to much and mail order from the UK is expensive. (Besides which, they never got back to me about the remix I sent them.)
Open-source identity and guns-and-Ayn-Rand-libertarian whacko Eric S. Raymond has a righteous rant about Liberals and Conservatives, and why they are inpardonably unappealing. To which, Charlie Stross offers a reasoned response. (Note: link corrected.)
(My beliefs on the last two questions would be fairly similar to Charlie's; I find legislating to control human behaviour based on some theory repugnant (whether it's Christian Fundamentalists, Marxists, copyright absolutists or any other stripe of true believers doing the legislating), but don't like the dog-eat-dog social-darwinism of what passes for "libertarianism" in the US. And I think Ayn Rand is one notch above L. Ron Hubbard in terms of credibility.)
Also on ESR's page, an essay applying the scientific method to why porn is so ugly and unstimulating; keeping in mind that he's a libertarian polyamorist of the Heinlein stripe with a keen interest in all things bootywhangular, you can probably guess that it's not written from a puritanical angle.
The recording industry in the US is crawing attention to another little-publicised form of piracy and theft that's bleeding it dry: used CD sales. Some voices in the industry are now calling on a federally-mandated royalty on used CD sales, to be distributed to the recording industry (i.e., major labels). (via Slashdot)